Guidelines: Audio Digitization System Performance
Audio-Visual Working Group
Device performance. The Working Group has been exploring the issues pertaining to the performance testing of audio digitization systems. This is intended to parallel efforts by the Still Image Working Group to develop metrics and methods for the performance testing of still image scanners and cameras. For audio digitization, two aspects have been under study: (a) the performance of analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and (b) the problem of interstitial errors, i.e., accidental loss or transformations of audio samples within the digitizing system before the data stream is written to file. This activity is supported by the Working Group's expert consultant Chris Lacinak of Audiovisual Preservation Solutions.
Guideline for the Performance of Analog-to-Digital Converters: Approved and Draft Versions
Approved by working group, August 20, 2012.
Earlier version. Drafted in February 2012 and reformatted June 19, 2012.
This guideline pertains to the relevant metrics and measurement methods for analog-to-digital converters (ADC). As explained in the separate Introduction, its starting point for metrics is the important Guidelines on the Production and Preservation of Digital Audio Objects (TC-04, Second Edition, 2009; International Association of Sound and Audiovisual Archives). For methods, its starting point is AES standard method for digital audio engineering — Measurement of digital audio equipment (AES17-1998, r2009; Audio Engineering Society), and other standards. The pass-fail specifications recommended in this guideline are for the highest level of ADC performance; subsequent phases of this activity will consider specifications for use when a project would be satisfied by moderate levels of ADC performance.
Audio Analog-to-Digital Converter Performance Specification and Test Method: Introduction, August 20, 2012. (PDF, 621 KB) Archived for reference: The earlier version drafted in February 2012 and reformatted June 19, 2012. (PDF, 506 KB)
Summaries of comments received on the guideline and introduction as of June 21, 2012 (PDF, 84 KB) and July 12, 2012 (PDF, 119 KB). These comments were considered when the August 20, 2012, version of the guideline was drafted.
Analog-to-Digital Converter Performance Specification and Testing, the original version of the combined explanatory report and recommended guideline dated February 24, 2012. (PDF, 499 KB).
Assess Audio System Evaluation Tools: Initial Report, the consultant's original report on the both ADC performance and the problem of interstitial errors. Posted March 15, 2011. (PDF, 1.5 MB)
Last Updated: 01/09/2013